Promising new findings demonstrate the efficacy of DHA and EPA in the fight against chronic disease

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 General News
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Cumulative data from three clinical studies unveil new insights into the benefits of fish oil supplementation

MONTREAL, April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Atrium Innovations, in partnership with Laval University's Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF), is proud to announce three journal publications resulting from an extensive research project demonstrating the contribution of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) to health promotion and disease prevention. 

The findings of the three studies, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN), and the journals Atherosclerosis and Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids (PLEFA), fill a void in available research by specifically evaluating the mechanisms by which long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (LCn3-PUFAs) influence health and contribute to disease prevention. The results highlight an evolution in our understanding of how high-potency EPA and DHA affect a variety of cardiometabolic risk factors, including inflammatory markers and blood lipids. 

The most significant findings include:

  • Both EPA and DHA upregulated anti-inflammatory gene expression.
  • DHA reduced triglycerides and inflammatory markers and raised good HDL cholesterol more effectively than EPA fish oil and control.
  • DHA and EPA improved Omega-3 Index by +5.6% and +3.3%, respectively.

According to epidemiological studies, increased Omega-3 Index (O3I), which is calculated as the proportion of EPA and DHA in red blood cell membranes, is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease and mortality.

While it has been known for some time that consumption of fish oil supplements containing long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (LCn3-PUFAs) influence biomarkers such as blood lipids, blood pressure and inflammation, there has been minimal research conducted to understand the differential effects of EPA and DHA.

The study design was a double-blind triple cross-over intervention trial with three treatment phases — 2.7g/d EPA, 2.7g/d DHA and placebo. Each treatment was 10 weeks in duration separated by a nine-week washout. The study included 154 male and female subjects with abdominal obesity and subclinical inflammation, with a primary outcome of change in C-reactive protein (CRP).

Collectively, these novel findings published in Am J Clin Nutr, Atherosclerosis and PLEFA demonstrate that both EPA and DHA drive anti-inflammatory gene expression, with DHA yielding more dramatic improvements in lowering triglycerides and decreasing inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP). DHA has also been shown to raise good HDL cholesterol more effectively than EPA fish oil and the control. Lastly, both EPA and DHA have been shown to influence O3I scores. A recent double-blind triple cross-over intervention trial revealed that both EPA and DHA drove O3I scores above the 8% target associated with cardiovascular protection, with DHA again yielding more dramatic benefits than EPA in each of the 154 subjects. 

"Together, these studies mark an important shift from epidemiological research to well-designed intervention studies that tease apart the true benefits of EPA and DHA fish oil supplementation," states Barry W. Ritz, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of Professional R&D and Regulatory, Atrium Innovations Inc. "These findings contribute to the larger conversation on how fish oil can be used most effectively as a clinical tool in the promotion of health and the management of chronic disease. Fish oil supplements are popular, and this is an intriguing area of research, so it is important that practitioners and patients alike continue to follow the developments in this particular area of research in the coming years."

Studies were funded primarily by the Canadian Institute of Health Research and Atrium Innovations Inc., who also contributed the Douglas Laboratories test supplements and control products used across the three studies. Further collaboration was provided by: the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF), the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University Hospital Center (CHU) of Québec Research Center and Québec Heart and Lung Institute (IUCPQ), all part of Laval University in Québec, Canada; the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota; and OmegaQuant Analytics, LLC.

About the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF)

INAF is a recognized network of renowned multidisciplinary scientists working together to advance knowledge about human nutrition and its impact on health. Over the past ten years, INAF has put together the largest team of Canadian researchers (80-plus) dedicated to understanding the complex relationships between foods, food components, nutrition and health, and the role they play in prevention of chronic diseases. INAF puts science at the service of nutrition to fulfill its mission and ensure its actions lead to concrete and durable results that benefit the population's health and the bio-food sector.

About Atrium Innovations Inc.

Atrium Innovations Inc. is a globally recognized leader in the development, manufacturing and commercialization of innovative, science-based, natural health products that are distributed in more than 35 countries. The company owns healthcare practitioner and specialized retail product brands that are at the forefront of science, innovation and education. Atrium has more than 1,300 employees and operates seven manufacturing facilities, all of which comply with Current Good Manufacturing Practices. The family of Atrium Innovations Inc. brands includes Pure Encapsulations, Garden of Life, Wobenzym, Genestra Brands, Douglas Laboratories and Klean Athlete.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

SOURCE Atrium Innovations Inc.


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